Open Access Mini Review

What Happened to Fibrinolysis?

Victor Gurewich*

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Mount Auburn Hospital, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date:August 23, 2021;  Published Date:September 09, 2021


Fibrinolysis refers to the natural enzymatic system responsible for dissolving a blood clot or thrombus. Since an intravascular thrombus is responsible for almost all heart attacks and most strokes, interest in fibrinolysis, the only medical treatment, dominated medical interest in the 60’s-90’s. Since that time, the incidence of heart attacks and strokes has not changed much, but interest in fibrinolysis has faded. Instead, interest has shifted to catheter removal of clots, called percutaneous coronary intervention (“PCI”) which is a complicated procedure that is slower, and much more costly than fibrinolysis. It is also a cruder treatment that can only remove clots larger than the catheter, but it is handsomely reimbursed. By contrast, fibrinolysis is a much faster, cheaper, treatment which is not limited to larger vessels, so what happened to it?

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